Wednesday, December 11, 2013

State of the Heart Hospice 5K Race Has Special Meaning to Runner

Kris Olsen is pictured after
completing the race in Germany last fall.
When Fort Recovery native and runner Kris Olsen runs in the 5 K race to benefit State of the Heart Hospice in February, it will be more than just a run for her. “There is an emotional connection,” she explained recently. State of the Heart Hospice, with offices in Greenville, Coldwater and Portland, cared for her father who died in 2010 and her brother who died in 2009.

Olsen, a runner for the past four years, plans to run in the “Heart and Sole 5 K” which will be held Saturday, February 15 at Rossburg Acres, 4300 Rossburg Lightsville Rd. and is inviting family and friends to participate in the first run ever sponsored by the nonprofit agency. All proceeds will go to State of the Heart Hospice, explained Christy Baker, Development Specialist for State of the Heart and event organizer.

The 5 K is open to both runners and walkers, and strollers are also welcome. The cost to participate is $25 with the shirt, or if you do not want the shirt, the cost is $15 if registered prior to January 31. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m. Proceeds from the “Heart and Sole 5 K” will go to support the agency’s new care center on the fourth floor of Wayne HealthCare in Greenville.

“Running in this 5 K has a special meaning for me,” stated Olsen. “I find a real connection and am running with more of a purpose.” When she runs in the event, she admits she will be thinking of her brother and her father and the good care they had from State of the Heart.

Olsen has a close tie to Preferred Insurance Center of Coldwater, the presenting sponsor for the 5 K. Last fall, Preferred Insurance was her sponsor for a half-marathon in Germany, helping to pay for her trip. She was one of 20 runners from the Columbus area to go to Germany for the race. She resides in Grove City.

Preferred Insurance has been a partner with State of the Heart for other events, and one of the owners of the insurance company is a runner himself and plans to participate in the 5 K. “I plan to be there that day,” said Roger Rindler of Preferred Insurance. “I believe we will have a good turnout as the hospice care provided by State of the Heart is well known. People realize it is a good charity.”

Rindler said he suffered a mild heart attack about four years ago. Following his recovery, during which time he lost 35 pounds, he took up running. This year so far he has participated in 15 5 K runs in addition to a 10 K, a 15 K, and a Half Marathon.

According to Baker, nearly 100 people have signed up for the race which will have a Valentine theme as it follows Valentine’s Day so closely. “We wanted to do an event that would be something which is of interest to a large group of people in all of the counties we serve,” she explained. State of the Heart cares for patients and families in eastern Indiana and western Ohio who are confronting a life limiting illness. “Rossburg Acres is centrally located and will provide a location that will allow participants from all areas we serve to participate,” Baker added.

There will be some “great perks” for those participating, she said. “There will be cash prizes to the top three overall male/female finishers, custom medals for the top three male/female finishers in each age division, a chocolate stop on the course, long sleeve tech shirts, and post-race refreshments, including hot chocolate.”

Registration forms to mail in to State of the Heart are available by going to this site: If any business is interested in being an event sponsor, they can contact Ryan Gathard, Fund Development Director for State of the Heart at 1-800-417-7535, or by email at For questions about the race itself, contact Christy Baker at

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